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Druze People (Syria)

Druze Mountains, Jabal ad-Duruz

Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: druze | jabal ad-duruz | jebel druze | syria | israel | stripes (five) |
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[Druze people (Syria)] image by David Kendall

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The Druze people are 400,000 living in Syria (mainly in the area of Jabal ad-Duruz – Druze Mountains), Lebanon and Israel and the shape of the flag is common to all of them. You may notice the former independent state of the Druze in Jabal ad-Duruz under the French in the 20's. The flag has no fixed proportions and the items I examined varies from 2:3 to 8:11. Usually the 8:11 is used in Israel (possibly to ease production by using the same proportions as the Israeli flag).
Dov Gutterman, 01 Oct 1998

The Druze flag is combined from 5 colors which represent the 5 prophets of the Druze secret religion. This is what a Druze friend told me and I hope he knows what he was talking about... The Druze religion is based principally on reincarnation. The exact rules and orders, all the prayers and even books are well hidden by this community even to its own members and only when they are of a certain age are they allowed in. It all started a few centuries ago in Iran where they were persecuted by the Muslims. Their temples back there were burnt and they fled to the Middle East. The Druze people never seek their own country but are loyal to the country which holds their lands. You can find them in Israel, Lebanon and Syria and they are said to be the best warriors (since they are not afraid to die). By the way they are not exactly Arabs (although speaking Arabic), they are of Persian origin.
Shai Tejman, 11 Jan 1999

I've looked into Concise Encyclopaedia of Arabic Civilization, S. and N. Ronart, Amsterdam, 1966:

"The basis of the Druze creed is the belief in the periodical manifestation of God in a human form (makam, lit. place), comparable to a veil behind which the Divine Nature is hidden. For the last five incarnations were chosen the persons of the Fatimid caliphs al-Qa'im (934-946), al-Mansur (946-952), al-Mu'izz (950-975), al-'Aziz (975-996) and al-Hakim (997-1021), the ultimate and most sublime. From him emanate the Five Principles expressing the Creative Force."
Furthermore are mentioned: al-Hakim, Hamzah ibn-'Ali, Moise, Christ and Muhammad, 5 prophets.
Jarig Bakker, 11 Jan 1999

At last, I received written material about the Druze and their flag. It seems the verbal information that I received and posted before was misleading and mistaken. The current source is a booklet issued by the Druze in Hebrew so here is a translation of its interesting parts:

The Druze congregation: The origin of the congregation's name is taken from the name of el-Drzi, one of the known propagandists of the Druze religion at its beginning. The religion was called at the beginning al-Tukhid and the Druze were called al-Mukhadun.

The Druze religion was established at the beginning of the 11th century but only in the 19th century were they recognized as an independent congregation by the Ottoman regime.

The Druze are recognized today as independent and separate congregations by the governments of Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

The only Druze flag is combined by a green triangle at the hoist side, and four horizontal stripes of red-yellow-blue-white. The meanings of the colours are:

  • Red – symbolizes the heart and love of humanity
  • Green – symbolizes the farmer and the life
  • White – symbolizes the purity and the air
  • Yellow – symbolizes the sun and the wheat
  • Blue – symbolizes the sky and the faith

The five-striped flags (blue-white-red-yellow-green) and their symbolism (blue for sky, white for purity, red for blood, yellow for wheat and green for soil) were based on former, misleading information and they are wrong.
Dov Gutterman, 09 May 1999

[Druze flag, incorrect variation] 2:3      [Druze flag, incorrect variation] 8:11
Incorrect reported variations
by Jorge Candeias

Here is an explanation [for the colour scheme] from the Israel Druze Society website:

Druze religious symbol is a five-coloured flag consisting of Green, Red, Yellow, Blue and White respectively. These colours represent the five wise prophets of Al-Mowahideen.
  1. Green (Al-Akl) symbolizes "the mind," Christ's Consciousness, the pristine mirror of truth, Plato's sun whose light makes knowledge of the truth possible.
  2. Red (Al-Nafs) symbolizes "the soul," the moon (the gentle reflector of the sun) the reciever of the light, and the shaheed of the truth in every age.
  3. Yellow (Al-Kalima) symbolizes "the word", who's the mediator between Plato's realm of eternity and Aristotle's realm of material existence. "The word," after all is the purest form of expression and the softest embodiment of the truth.
  4. Blue (Al-Sabik) symbolizes the potential, the mental power of the will to be-come.
  5. White (Al-Tali) Symbolizes the actualization of the potential, the be-coming of the blue power, the full materialization of Plato's world of forms in the world of matter.

Dov Gutterman, 13 Sep 1999

[Druze flag variant, Golan] image by Santiago Dotor, 20 Jun 2005

I was in Israel last week touring the county. While in the Golan Heights area I saw what I understand is a variant of the Druze flag, with five stripes: from top to bottom, Green, Red, Yellow, Blue and White.
The Druze are according to my encyclopedia:

A member of a Syrian people following a religion marked by monotheism and a belief in al-Hakim (985-1021), an Ismaili caliph, as the embodiment of God.

The [above] flag I found flying in a Druze Village near the Golan Heights [photo]. I understand from some Druze that I talked with in an other area that the Druze in Golan area have adopted this flag in an effort to identify more with Syria. Which makes sense as according to my encyclopedia:

Many Druze living in the Golan Heights consider themselves Syrian and refuse Israeli citizenship, while the remainder consider themselves Israeli.

Wayne Lovett, 19 Jun 2005

I think that this flag has nothing to do with it, and it is just a regular 5-stripe flag.
I know this same flag which is hoisted in the Druze village of Masa'ade and the top stripe is dark-green and not black.
Dov Gutterman, 20 Jun 2005